Ballads and Sonnets (1881), proof Signature N (Delaware Museum, first proof, copy 1)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Production Description

Document Title: Ballads and Sonnets
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Publisher: F. S. Ellis
Printer: Chiswick Press, C. Whittingham and Co.
City of publication: London
Date of publication: 1881 April 25
Pre-Publication Information: proof
Pagination: 177-192
Issue: 1
Authorization: DGR
Collation: N 8


Current Location: Library, Delaware Art Museum

Physical Description

Point: 10 point; 6 point leading
Font: roman
Lines per Page: 17
Margin top: 2 cm
Margin bottom: 3.8 cm
Margin right: 2 cm
Margin left: 2.5 cm
Dimensions of Document: 19 x 12.8cm (crown octavo)

Scholarly Commentary


This is a complete duplicate copy (dated 25 April 1881) of the first proof of Signature N of the Ballads and Sonnets volume. Like the other copy of this first proof, this copy has printer's corrections in all the running heads from pages 185-191, but unlike the latter, it does not have DGR's correction on page 189. In the first proofs for Signatures M and N, the sonnets ran over to the versos so that on Signature M only seven sonnets plus the Introductory sonnet were first printed, and on Signature N only eight sonnets were printed. As DGR's note to the printer on page 163 of the first author's proof for Signature M in the Delaware Museum Library shows, both of these signatures were directed for major redesign, with one sonnet to be printed on each page. All the later proofs for these signatures print one sonnet to each page.

This is the only signature that contains a cancel, which DGR called for on 3 August and which was made by the printer on 7 August. The proof for this cancel leaf is among the Delaware Museum's large collection of proofs.

Textual History: Revision

There is a second copy of this first proof with only eight sonnets printed. The rest of the proofs print sonnets XV through XXX. The extant proofs in the Delware Museum Library are the following: copy 1 and copy 2 of the first revise (dated 28 April 1881 and numbered 1a and 1b respectively), both with DGR's corrections throughout; copy 1 and copy 2 of the second revise (dated 3 May 1881 and numbered 1a and 1b respectively), both without revisions; a corrected and two uncorrected copies of the third revise ( uncorrected copy 1 and uncorrected copy 2), all dated 4 May 1881 and numbered 3c, 3a, and 3b respectively; an uncorrected and two corrected copies of the fourth revise ( corrected copy 1 and corrected copy 2), all dated 6 May 1881 and numbered 4a, 4b, and 4c respectively; four copies of the final proof, including WMR's copy with his notes, DGR's corrected copy , an uncorrected partial copy, and a copy with uncut sheets), all undated and numbered 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d. Delaware also has the proof of the cancel leaf (pages 185-186), marked as such and with DGR's correction. The British Library proofs have another copy (partial) of revise proofs for this signature (dated 28 April).

Electronic Archive Edition: 1